Friday 5 April 2013
Last Update 5 April 2013 2:05 am
OPEC is happy with the producer group’s official oil output ceiling of
30 million barrels per day, its secretary general Abdullah Al-Badri said
ahead of an OPEC meeting next month to set output policy.
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to meet
on May 31 in Vienna to review its output policy for the second half of
Al-Badri also said the 12-member group would not
address the issue of a production allocation for Iraq until 2014. Iraq
has for many years been exempt from OPEC output agreements.
oil prices fell after an increase in new US claims for unemployment
benefits reinforced concerns about sputtering economic growth in the top
global oil consumer.
US initial jobless claims hit a four-month
high last week, a third consecutive rise, suggesting the labor market
recovery lost some steam in March.
Initial claims for state
unemployment benefits increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000,
the highest since November, the Labor Department said.
jobless claims added to the pressure after the Bank of Japan’s decision
to pump money created a big rally in the dollar and US debt in a
safe-haven play,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in
The Bank of Japan on Thursday said it would inject about
$ 1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years, pushing the
dollar up sharply versus the yen as US Treasury debt prices also
Brent May crude fell $ 1.16 to $105.95 a barrel by 1525 GMT, having fallen to a 2013 low at $ 105.73.
Brent tumbled $ 3.58 on Wednesday, its biggest one-day fall since early November.
US May crude was down $ 1.47 at $92.98 a barrel, having fallen to $ 92.56, the lowest intraday price since March.
US jobless claims report arrives a day after a report of
weaker-than-expected private-sector jobs growth in March, and a day
ahead of the government’s closely watched
nonfarm payrolls report for March.
to weigh on crude futures was a rise in US crude oil inventories last
week, reported on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.
inventory boost put US commercial stocks at 388.62 million barrels, the
most since 1990 and close to the record 391.9 million barrels reached
in 1982, the year the EIA started tracking inventories.